College Closure and Coronavirus Update 31.03.20

Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

 Update 30th March 2020


  1. Summary of Main Points
  •  Clyst Vale site is closed, except our Emergency Childcare Provision (ECP) for children of key workers (and deliveries, essential contractors, etc) ·
  • ECP will run daily Monday to Friday 08.30 – 17.00 throughout the holidays (Bank Hols to be confirmed) and in term-time. If no children attend, the College will close at 12.00.
  • Parents can contact us as normal, although we recommend e-mail
  • Teachers are working from home to set work on the day your child will have their lesson. This will resume on Tuesday 14th
  • Teachers are not expected to set work during what would have been the holiday period (March 30th to April 13th inclusive).
  • Free School Meals are being provided through weekly vouchers, and we have issued these in advance for the two-week holiday.
  • School Transport is suspended. If you are a key worker and would like school transport, please contact on the day before you require transport.
  • If you have any concerns, please contact the school and ask to speak to a Designated Safeguarding Lead (Mr Sutton, Mrs Albutt, Miss McConnachie or Mr A Pearce). If this is not possible please contact MASH, The Multi-agency Safeguarding Hub: 0345 155 1071.


  2. Emergency Childcare Provision

  • We are fully committed to maintaining our offer to look after the children of key workers (secondary age group).
  • We have some flexibility on both drop-off and pick-up times; please phone 01392-461407 to discuss individual needs.
  • On some days, no children have attended. This means that four unnecessary journeys to and from the College have been made. From next week, we would like to introduce a firmer booking system (up to 17.00 on the day before), and further details will be sent out to all parents who originally or subsequently expressed an interest in taking up our offer. I reiterate that we will be open for any parent who wishes their child to attend.
  • After the holiday period, we will consider extending the hours we are open if there is sufficient demand. Again, key worker parents will be contacted separately about this.


  1. Free School Meals
  •  The Government have announced the launch of the national voucher scheme for Free School Meals. We have decided to use it because with our semi-rural catchment other methods of providing FSM are complex and cannot possibly reach everyone.
  • We await basic details like the log-in, which was promised today.
  • Once we are set up, we will contact parents/carers of FSM to explain the system in more detail. It will be very similar to the voucher scheme we put into operation. A key difference is that the allowance will be £15 per child per week.
  • To make up this £3 difference, and to allow a week’s “slippage”, we hope to introduce the scheme from next Monday (6th April) on top of the £12 voucher which has already been received.


           4. Mental health and on-line safety: Thinkuknow


  • There are many, many on-line resources concerning mental health and on-line safety for young people during this lengthy period of social isolation. We will signpost ones for which we have knowledge, experience and recommendations.
  • There is a separate covid-19 page on the website under the “Parents” tab which will be updated regularly as further information and support becomes available (or use the C-19 button, top left of the screen)
  • Thinkuknow is the education programme from NCA-CEOP, a UK organisation which protects children both online and offline. It provides information and support on six different websites according to childrens’ ages, and a website for parents.



  1. Online support for young people: Kooth
  • Kooth is a well-established web based confidential support service available to young people which we are pleased to signpost.
  • Kooth provides a safe and secure means of accessing mental health and wellbeing support designed specifically for young people.
  • Kooth offers young people the opportunity to have a text-based conversation with a qualified counsellor. Counsellors are available from 12noon to 10pm on weekdays and 6pm to 10 pm at weekends, every day of the year on a drop-in basis. Young people can access regular booked online counselling sessions as needed. Outside counselling hours’ young people can message our team and get support by the next day.
  • Kooth also provides articles, forums and discussion boards.  All content is age appropriate, clinically approved and fully moderated.
  • To find out more visit where young people can register and others can find out more about the service.  You can also view a short video about the service here.


           6. Public Examinations

  • Ofqual expects to publish detailed information about the process for GCSEs, AS and A-levels this week (w/b 30th March). This will include the steps for teachers to follow and detailed guidance on how to consider the full range of evidence available when submitting grades. By Easter, Ofqual will also outline the process for making sure grades are fair across schools and colleges, as well as their proposals for appeals. The Department for Education has published a useful set of questions and answers about the special arrangements for this summer. [I have taken this from a letter from one of the examining boards, AQA]


  1. Trips and Visits
  • Year 7 Parents should see that they have been refunded for the cancelled visit to Chepstow Castle. If you haven’t been, and/or have any queries, please contact . Please note that refunds may take 2-4 days to reach you.
  • Very sadly, but very much the right thing to do and no surprise to anyone, we are assuming that neither of the visits to Bude or the Belgian battlefields will be going ahead. Please do not make any more payments.
  • Parents WILL be refunded in full for payments made for these visits, but it is not clear exactly when this happen, because we are in discussions with the companies and our insurers; Bude is technically not cancelled. Clearly, this is your money, so this is a priority for us and we will keep you posted.





The following link is the government’s advice to schools, last updated 20th March

Guidance to Educational Settings About Covid-19


The next link is Devon County Council’s dedicated website for parents for Coronavirus advice


Department for Education Coronavirus helpline:

Phone: 0800 046 8687  Opening hours: 8am to 6pm (Monday to Friday)



Should you have any specific queries regarding Covid-19 and Clyst Vale, please e-mail Mrs Ann Hopkins (College Manager) on .


Kevin Bawn, Principal